Arkansas State head football coach Bryan Harsin announced Thursday that Eliah Drinkwitz, who spent his first season as an assistant coach at A-State in 2012, will retain his position as running backs coach as part of Harsin’s staff.
Drinkwitz coached running backs for an ASU squad that ranked No. 21 in the nation in rushing offense with 217.4 yards per game. The Red Wolves rushed for over 200 yards in seven games this season and scored a Sun Belt Conference-best 30 rushing touchdowns on the year. Under Drinkwitz’ direction, junior running back David Oku was a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection and became the first A-State player to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season since 2008. Oku ran for 1,024 yards during the regular season and also scored 15 rushing touchdowns, the most in the Sun Belt. The ASU running back corps was highlighted by Oku, but featured several players that excelled under Drinkwitz. In fact, the group combined to record 2,074 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. The Red Wolves also averaged a school-record 5.2 yards per rushing attempt. A-State’s running backs recorded 266 receiving yards on 34 receptions over the course of the season as well. “We are excited Coach Drinkwitz will be remaining here at Arkansas State and joining our coaching staff,” said Harsin. “He did an outstanding job here this season, and he was instrumental in the development of the top offense in the conference. He is young and energetic and an up-and-coming coach with not only a passion for coaching, but also for his players.” The Alma, Ark. native spent the 2010-11 seasons as an offensive graduate assistant coach at Auburn prior to coming to Arkansas State. He assisted with all aspects of the offense during his time with the Tigers. During the 2010 season he helped the Tigers finish 14-0, winning the Southeastern Conference championship and the BCS National Championship behind Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton. The 2011 season saw Auburn finish 8-5, including a 43-24 victory over Virginia in the Chik-fil-A Bowl. Prior to Auburn, Drinkwitz coached four seasons at Springdale High School from 2006-09. He first served as the Bulldogs' offensive line coach and running game coordinator in 2006 before spending the next three years as their offensive coordinator. During his time as offensive coordinator, Springdale averaged 422 yards of total offense per game while setting school records in completions, receptions and yardage. Drinkwitz spent the 2005 season as an assistant coach at Alma High School, where he started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant from 2001-03 while still attending college. He earned his bachelor's degree in education from Arkansas Tech in 2004, graduating Magna Cum Laude after serving as student body president. Prior to attending Arkansas Tech, Drinkwitz was an all-conference and all-state selection for the Alma football team and was named an FCA Huddle Leader of the Year.